Eating Pork can be Hazardous to your Health
When I was studying in England I used to live in a "dig" (rooming house) in Highgate, North London. There were Chinese students from Malaysia, Singapore, Sarawak, Hong Kong and Vietnam rooming in the two houses that faced each other. We were all good friends and we spent the weekends cooking and sharing our favorite dishes. One of our friends called Luk studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and he would spend his summer vacation in London with us. Luk's special contribution was "Charsiu" the Cantonese barbecued pork. The way he prepared it was just exquisite, much better than those of any Chinese restaurant I have ever tasted. He had been coming to Highgate every summer for three years, and we always looked forward to tasting his "Charsiu." The summer before his final year in the university Luk also came to stay with our group, but there was a radical change in him. He told us there would be no more "Charsiu" from that time onwards. The real shocker is that he vowed not to eat any more pork dishes and strongly advised all of us in the group not to do so either. He had such a strong conviction against pork that he would not eat with us if we insisted on having it.
Here is his explanation. Luk was with a team of medical students doing a research project on the effects of diet on stomach and intestinal diseases such as trichinosis. The research team's method was to go to the hospitals and dissect corpses for autopsies. They based their studies on the diets of the various ethnic communities in the region. Their research uncovered the finding of the ethnic community with the highest percentage of cases with the trichinella spiralis worm belonged to a race that had pork as its main staple diet. Their research data showed a remarkably low percentage of Jews and Moslems with the trichinella spiralis worm in their bodies. It is significant that these two ethnic communities exclude pork and other biblically unclean meats in their diet.
My friend had seen such clear evidence in the co-relationship between pork consumption and stomach and intestinal diseases that he could make a determination not to eat that meat again in all his life. That was the first time I had ever heard a negative report on pork, but it has a lasting impression on my mind ever since that summer in London, England.
Pronounced As: trikinosis or trichiniasis trikinisis, parasitic disease caused by the roundworm Trichinella spiralis. It follows the eating of raw or inadequately cooked meat, especially pork. The larvae are released, reach maturity, and mate in the intestines, the females producing live larvae. The parasites are then carried from the gastrointestinal tract by the bloodstream to various muscles, where they become encysted. It is estimated that 10% to 20% of the adult population of the United States suffers from trichinosis at some time. In many people the disease exhibits no symptoms and is discovered only at autopsy. In others it causes diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms as the worms multiply in the digestive tract. When the larvae circulate through the bloodstream, the patient experiences edema, irregular fever, profuse sweating, muscle soreness and pain, and prostration. There may be involvement of the central nervous system, heart, and lungs; death occurs in about 5% of clinical cases. Once the larvae have imbedded themselves in the muscle tissue, the cysts usually become calcified; however, the infestation usually causes no further symptoms except fatigue and vague muscular pains. There is no specific treatment.
Bad Effects of Pork Consumption
Pig's bodies contain many toxins, worms and latent diseases. Although some of these infestations are harbored in other animals, modern veterinarians say that pigs are far more predisposed to these illnesses than other animals. This could be because pigs like to scavenge and will eat any kind of food, including dead insects, worms, rotting carcasses, excreta (including their own), garbage, and other pigs.
Influenza (flu) is one of the most famous illnesses which pigs share with humans. This illness is harbored in the lungs of pigs during the summer months and tends to affect pigs and humans in the cooler months. Sausage contains bits of pigs' lungs, so those who eat pork sausage tend to suffer more during epidemics of influenza.
Pig meat contains excessive quantities of histamine and imidazole compounds, which can lead to itching and inflammation; growth hormone, which promotes inflammation and growth; sulfur-containing mesenchymal mucus, which leads to swelling and deposits of mucus in tendons and cartilage, resulting in arthritis, rheumatism, etc. Sulfur helps cause firm human tendons and ligaments to be replaced by the pig's soft mesenchymal tissues, and degeneration of human cartilage.
Eating pork can also lead to gallstones and obesity, probably due to its high cholesterol and saturated fat content. The pig is the main carrier of the taenia solium worm, which is found it its flesh. These tapeworms are found in human intestines with greater frequency in nations where pigs are eaten. This type of tapeworm can pass through the intestines and affect many other organs, and is incurable once it reaches beyond a certain stage.
One in six people in the US and Canada has trichinosis from eating trichina worms, which are found in pork. Many people have no symptoms to warn them of this, and when they do, they resemble symptoms of many other illnesses. These worms are not noticed during meat inspections, nor does salting or smoking kill them. Few people cook the meat long enough to kill the trichinae. The rat (another scavenger) also harbors this disease. There are dozens of other worms, germs, diseases and bacteria which are commonly found in pigs, many of which are specific to the pig, or found in greater frequency in pigs.
Pigs are biologically similar to humans, and their meat is said to taste similar to human flesh. Pigs have been used for dissection in biology labs due to the similarity between their organs and human organs. People with insulin-dependent diabetes usually inject themselves with pig insulin.
Pigs eating dung
Medical and Scientific Reasons for not Eating Pork
This is a direct quote from "What the Bible Says About Healthy Eating" by Dr. Rex Russell. He attended Baylor School of Medicine in Houston, Texas and did his residency at the Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minnesota.
"One reason for God's rule forbidding pork is that the digestive system of a pig is completely different from that of a cow. It is similar to ours, in that the stomach is very acidic. Pigs are gluttonous, never knowing when to stop eating. Their stomach acids become diluted because of the volume of food, allowing all kinds of vermin to pass through this protective barrier. Parasites, bacteria, viruses, and toxins can pass into the pigs flesh because of overeating. These toxins and infectious agents can be passed on to humans when they eat a pig's flesh.
In the "Biblical Archeological Review", Jane Cahill examined the toilets of a Jewish household in Jerusalem, finding no parasites or infectious agents, but only pollen from the many fruits, vegetables, and herbs they had eaten. A similar study done about Egyptians revealed eggs from Schistosoma, Trichinella, wire worm and tapeworms, all found in pork. All of these organisms cause significant chronic diseases. [ this is footnoted Jane Cahill and Peter Warnock, "It had to happen, Scientist Examines Ancient Bathrooms of Romans 586B.C." BAR May/June 1991]
In what is probably a strong illustration of the perils of pork, at one time no cases of trichinosis had been reported in the country of Bolivia for several years. [this is footnoted from "Veterinary Parasitology" May 1993] However, 25% of pigs tested were infested with trichinosis. People working on these farms and the population eating the pigs were also found to be positive for infestation with this parasite. The primary symptoms of this infection include muscle pain, headaches, fever and swelling in the extremities.[foot noted Baker, Bryant, Urban, and Lumney, "Swine Immunity to Selected Parasites", "Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology" October 1994] These are all nonspecific symptoms that do not necessarily indicate any one disease. Although this may explain why the trichinosis had not been diagnosed in Bolivia for several years, it is strong circumstantial evidence that many people became ill because of pork.
Dr. W.J. Zimmerman reviewed the diaphragm muscle from multiple autopsies done in the U.S. in the late 1960"s, and reported that trichinosis was not an unusual finding. [footnoted Zimmerman, Steele, And Kagan, "Trichiniases in the U.S. Population, 1966-70: Prevalence and Epidemiologic Factors", Health Services Reports 88:7 Aug/Sept 1973] It is well accepted that illnesses caused by parasites have a significant economic effect worldwide.
In the U.S., three of the six most common food-borne parasitic diseases of humans are associated with pork consumption. These include toxoplasmosis, taeniases or cysticercosis [caused by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium] and trichinellosis.
In Japan, the source of these infections was traced to the flesh of pigs, bears, horses, racoons and foxes. All of these animals are listed in Scripture as putrid or unclean.
Swine are also good incubators of toxic parasites and viruses- although the animal doesn't appear to be ill while carrying these diseases. A scientist at the University of Giessen's Institute for Virology in Germany showed in a study of worldwide influenza epidemics that pigs are the one animal that can serve as a mixing vessel for new influenza viruses that may seriously threaten world health.
If a pig is exposed to a human's DNA virus and then a bird's virus, the pig mixes the two viruses - developing a new DNA virus that is often extremely lethal for humans. These viruses have already caused worldwide epidemics and destruction. Virologists have concluded that if we do not find a way to separate humans from pigs, the whole earth's population may be at risk. [footnoted Scholtissek,M.D., "Cultivating a Killer Virus" National History Jan. 1992]
The 1942 Yearbook of Agriculture reported that 50 diseases were found in pigs, and many of these were passed on to humans by eating the pig's flesh.
Additionally, just the handling of swine has an element of risk. A large hog-raising facility in the area where I live wisely requires its employees to wear gloves, masks and protective clothing while working in the pig barns. The workers are required to shower each day before going home.
Little wonder that GOD would inspire His prophet to include eating pork among the disobedient acts of stubborn people in addition to idolatry and conjuring spirits of the dead, "a people who continually provoke Me to My face,...who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of unclean meat" [Isa. 65:3,4]"